For members


READER QUESTION: Do Denmark’s residency rules allow you to take a side job?

A reader asked about what the rules are for taking a second side job if you have a work permit or residency permit in Denmark. Here are the rules.

READER QUESTION: Do Denmark's residency rules allow you to take a side job?
To get a work permit for a sideline job as a chef as a non-EU citizen, your main work permit must also be in the same field. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

READER QUESTION: If I came in pre-Brexit on the grounds of self sufficiency, and I’m on a temporary residency permit, am I allowed to do a bit of self employed work to top my funds up?

For this reader, the rules are quite clear.

“A temporary residence permit granted according to the Withdrawal Agreement (Brexit) also includes the right to work in Denmark – even though the person has resided in Denmark on grounds of sufficient resources or as an economically inactive person,” the Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI), told The Local via email. 

But for other non-EU citizens, here under one of Denmark’s many job schemes, such as the Fast-track scheme, Pay limit scheme, and the Positive lists, or under the various researcher schemes, the rules are more complicated. 

READ ALSO: How can you get a work permit in Denmark if you are not an EU national?

You are generally allowed to get a second job, but you may have to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, (find information from SIRI here), and also fulfil various conditions. 

If you are a researcher with a permit under the Researcher scheme or the Researcher track under the Fast-track scheme, a Guest researcher, a PhD student, a performing artist or a professional athlete or coach, you are allowed to take up unlimited sideline employment without needing to apply for an additional work permit for sideline employment. 

If, however, you are employed as a researcher under the Pay Limit Scheme, then you have to apply for a special work permit for sideline employment.

People who received their residency permits under the Jobseeker scheme are not eligible for a sideline employment permit. 

For the other job schemes, you need to apply for a separate work permit for paid sideline employment, find information from SIRI here.

“For sideline employment, the salary must be the standard one for the job, and within the same area of ​​work as the main occupation,” SIRI said. 

For example, a musician might want a permit for sideline employment as an instructor at an academy of music, or a doctor might want a permit for sideline employment to teach at a medical school. 

You can be granted a sideline permit for as long as as the duration of your main work permit. 

If you lose your sideline job, you must inform SIRI. If you lose the main job that is the basis for your main work permit, your sideline job permit is automatically invalidated. 

Member comments

  1. How is sideline work treated under the Establishment Card rules? For example, if I have been working part-time, and then receive a full-time job, do I still have to apply for a work permit for a sideline job, for example, as a bartender?

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Danish parliament set to vote through relaxed work permit rules

Denmark's parliament is expected to vote on Thursday to make changes to Denmark's foreigners law designed to make it easier to for companies to hire internationally.

Danish parliament set to vote through relaxed work permit rules

The bill went through its second reading on Monday without any Danish MPs making objections or calling for changes, suggesting it is likely to be voted through on Thursday without any serious opposition. 

The bill, which was submitted to parliament in February by Denmark’s immigration minister Kaare Dybvad Bek, will permanently reduce the minimum wage required under the Pay Limit Scheme (Beløbsordning), making it easier for companies to recruit skilled workers from non-EU countries.

It will also open up the country’s fast-track work permit certification scheme to companies with as few as ten employees, extend the job search period for foreign graduates of Danish universities to three years, add more job titles to the Positive List for People with Higher Education, and extend the Start-up Denmark scheme for entrepreneurs. 

“This may be a game changer for the smaller companies hiring employees within industries with lower salary thresholds where the new hire has only a few years of experience,” Rikke Wolfsen, country manager for EY’s Danish Global Immigration practice, said of the lower salary thresholds. 

The amendments, which should come into force on April 1st, will mean that non-EU citizens hired to work in Denmark will need to earn a minimum of only 375,000 kroner per year, down from 448,000 kroner under the old rules.

Wolfsen warned that jobs given to non-EU citizens hired internationally would still be subject to DISCO, the Danish version of the international classification of job titles, International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08). 

This means that if the role being hired for was normally paid 425,000 kroner, for example, employers will still have to pay this level, and not the 375,000 kroner minimum. 

“In general, third-country nationals employed by Danish companies must earn a salary that corresponds to that paid to Danish nationals in similar positions with similar educational backgrounds and work experience,” EY wrote in a tax alert

A temporary version of lower salary threshold was part of a political agreement on strengthened international recruitment reached in June last year between a majority of parties in the Danish parliament. 

The reduction was set to remain in place for an initial three-year period. However, the proposal was never passed into law because Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called an election before it was voted on in parliament. The renewed government proposal makes the reduction to the Pay Limit minimum wage permanent, rather than introducing it on a temporary basis.

Some parties had been pushing for the bill to also change an unpopular rule that requires the salaries of foreign hires to be paid into a Danish bank account requirement, but this has not made it into the current text of the bill.